A pneumatic protection shield that is easily and quickly set up to guard against cave-ins in a wide variety of excavation work is being introduced to Australia by pneumatic actuation and isolation specialist Air Springs Supply.
The Blindeo shield, from Pronal elastomer engineering company, was developed in response to European labour legislation requiring that excavations deeper than 1.3 m with vertical walls have to be secured.
Australian State and industry Codes of Practice — evolved from the Occupational Health and Safety Act — govern excavation safety in this country, with different provisions applying to excavations typical in such areas as architecture; building and construction; electrical and telecommunications; mining, energy and petroleum sites; pipeline installation and maintenance; road making; manufacturing and food and beverage and primary production pits and pipelines; plumbing and sewerage and water and waste water infrastructure.
The Blindeo kit — comprising four cushions 2000m high and 1440mm wide — is intended for use in secured excavations up to two metres deep.
It is designed as an alternative to existing wooden and metallic shoring devices, which can be difficult and time-consuming to set up, as well as involving the transport of cumbersome material to remote sites, according to James Maslin, Air Springs Supply national sales and marketing manager.
"Naturally each industry must consider the statutory safety provisions relating to its unique workplace conditions, but Blindeo is a highly practical and robust product engineered in response to a global safety issue relating to excavations including pits and trenches," he said.
"Pronal is already respected globally as an engineering company for its extensive ranges of environmental and workplace protection products, including tough inflatable elastomer pipe stoppers used to prevent pollution and to protect staff during pipeline inspection and maintenance."
Made out of vulcanised rubber, the abrasion-resistant Blindeo cushions are equipped with handling straps, a quick air connector and a safety valve to avoid the risk of bursting.
Their advantages include: high resistance construction with anti-burst design; re-usable, easy maintenance; easy handling and setup — each cushion weighs only 13kg; and flexible and foldable
Air volume required is 400/660 litres with a maximum pressure of 650 mbar. Inflated by standard workplace compressors — or from compressed air/gas cylinders at remote locations — the standard product is complemented by an inflation line with safety valve for quick coupling and a venture for quicker deflation.